Automated Tugger Trains
The youngest member of the STILL iGo family
Targeting to make logistics processes more efficient by automation, STILL deploys automated LiftRunner Tugger Train solutions. These solutions allow to fully automate the flow of materials right up to the production line and make clocked supply to production facilities even smarter and more economic.
Advantages of fully or partially automated systems at a glance:
- Loads can be moved ergonomically in the factory regardless of the physical condition of the employees
- In automated tugger trailers, all loads can be loaded and unloaded simultaneously
- Substantial traffic calming compared to material supply by forklift truck
- Reduction in space requirements and greater safety in handling the load carriers or trolleys.
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The latest Tugger Train solution covers every station of the material flow fully automated - from loading a Tugger Train, to the different stops at the production line right to the unloading station. The solution consists of an automated EXV STILL high lift pallet truck, an automated tractor towing the Tugger Train and automated LiftRunner E frames and transfer stations. These components are the heart piece of the STILL Tugger Train solution.
Instead of a standard trolley, the LiftRunner E frame carries two electrically powered roller tracks used as conveyor equipment to load and unload the frame. To pick up or unload a load, the automated E frame is positioned in front to the transfer station. Two sensors monitor proper contact and placement between the E frame and the transfer station when the E frame lowers. The loading and unloading process starts by clearance of the conveying equipment. Another sensor stops the conveying process and verifies that loading or unloading has been accurately completed.
The tractor with the E frames will automatically start the tour beginning with the different stations in the supermarket, precisely positioning the E frames in front of the transfer stations to load and unload full sized pallets. Prior to this, the pallets have been retrieved from the storage rack by the automated STILL EXV high lift pallet truck. The loading of the pallets onto the E frames is initiated automatically. After all E frames have been loaded, the tugger train will start the milk-run - i.e. the delivery tour to the production line. Arriving at the first station, the full pallet is automatically moved to the transfer station. At the next station, the now empty frame will pick up an empty pallet the same way. After the Tugger Train has passed all the stations along the line delivering the full pallets and retrieving the empties, it travels to the station to unload the empty pallets and pick up the full pallets for the next tour.
Solutions for heavy loads
For companies mainly moving heavy loads or that want to relieve their workforce from excessive physical strain, the automated Tugger Train solutions from STILL are a genuine option. The automated E frame in combination with the transfer station, as well as an automated C frame, can also be operated with a manual tractor allowing to load and unload particularly heavy loads at the different stations along the production line.
With the automated E frame and the transfer station, STILL opens its customers new opportunities. Now, it is possible to move up to 1.5 tons per trailer to the production in routed operation.
To allow loading and unloading of a Tugger Train with oversized load carriers, the C frames are fitted with two electrically powered telescopic forks providing a load capacity of up to 1 000 kg to automate loading and unloading. The adjustable forks are controlled on a touch screen panel on the tractor allowing the driver to operate the Tugger Train intuitively.
Future of tuggertrains
A visionary concept that combines automation and autonomy clearly illustrates vividly that SIILL has a very concrete idea about the future of the Tugger Train. Autonomously networked automated guided vehicles and Tugger Trains are a perfect combination that makes a crucial contribution to production supply revolutionising speed, safety and cost efficiency.